In 2021, Denis Coderre was once again defeated after a second mayoral race by Valérie Plante. The Canadian politician or the former mayor of Montreal will not stay on as an opposition leader. Since announcing his return to politics earlier this year, Denis Coderre has often argued that he has changed. “It’s up to me to prove that I have been transformed,” he said in an interview in March 2021. But what are the events and affairs that he would rather you forgot? Let’s take a look.
8 Denis Coderre Scandals That He Wished You’d Forget
1. An undeclared check:
In 2012, MP Denis Coderre received – but did not declare – a check for $ 25,000 from his friend Jean Rizzuto (who has no connection with the Rizzuto family, linked to the Mafia). Denis Coderre initially denied having received this money. When the facts came to light, in 2017, he admitted he should have declared the check. This amount had been given to him by Rizzuto, businessman, and organizer of the Liberal Party, to help him pay legal fees in a libel lawsuit between him and hockey player Shane Doan.
No charges were laid, nor any alleged offenses. According to the code of ethics for federal deputies, however, such an amount should have been declared. Denis Coderre declared in the press that there was no appearance of a conflict of interest.
Denis Coderre is not the only Ensemble Montréal candidate to have been the subject of controversy.
2. Denis Coderre as the consultant:
The controversy surrounding Denis Coderre’s refusal to disclose the list of clients for whom he worked as a consultant between 2017 and 2021 (the Law on ethics and professional conduct in municipal matters does not oblige him to do so) was finally lifted.
Agreeing to go public, people learned that Denis Coderre was a consultant for COGIR, a major real estate developer.
He was also a consultant for Transcontinental. The company retained his services for advice on “the circular economy and the company’s recycling investments in the east of Montreal”. Transcontinental has been campaigning with the City of Montreal since 2009 so that it does not tighten the regulations surrounding the distribution of Publisac.
For those who don’t know, Denis Coderre worked for Stingray which is a company owned by Eric Boyko. The latter campaigned for the return of the Expos and the construction of a new baseball stadium in Montreal.
He was also the representative of the CDPQ or ‘Quebec Deposit and Investment Fund’ on the board of directors of Eurostar, a company that operates high-speed trains between Paris, Brussels and London. The CDPQ is involved in the construction of the Metropolitan Express Network (REM).
3. Denis Coderre and the police:
The attitude of Denis Coderre caused much ink to flow in 2016 when we learned that furious journalist Patrick Lagacé had obtained a copy of a statement of offense that he had received in 2014, where he had directly called the director of the SPVM, Marc Parent. The former mayor admitted to having “gone crazy” but says he did not ask the police to investigate the origin of the leak.
The SPVM, however, requisitioned the telephone records of Patrick Lagacé’s supplier for the period when he was investigating this famous statement of offense, which the journalist already suspected.
Another extra detail in this story: at the time of receiving his ticket, Denis Coderre, who was not yet mayor at the time, would have mentioned to the police officer that he “would be his future boss”.
4. Luis Miranda, a controversial ally for Coderre?
Luis Miranda, borough mayor in Anjou since 1997, is again seeking the post of head of his party, Équipe Anjou. He gave his support to Denis Coderre, in return for which Ensemble Montréal did not present a candidate in this borough.
In 2009, La Presse published an article on the trips to the Azores made by Luis Miranda in the company of municipal suppliers such as Antonio Di Lillo and Florindo Baldissin. In four years, Mr. Baldassin’s Paysagiste Ligne Royale had obtained $ 3.5 million in municipal contracts.
Mr. Miranda was targeted by allegations of sexual assault in 2019. A former volunteer of Mr. Miranda’s party, Sandra Boursiquot, made the allegations during a public meeting of the city council. No criminal prosecution has been filed. Mr. Miranda is suing Ms. Boursiquot for defamation.
5. Dan Kraft:
Dan Kraft, who was running for Outremont councilor with Ensemble Montreal, withdrew from the race after controversial posts were raised by multiple media outlets, including Pivot. Denis Coderre denounced what he considers to be a “smear campaign” orchestrated by “trolls”.
Mr. Kraft apologized after it was learned that he had relayed climate-skeptical content on social networks, downplaying discrimination against blacks, or even promoting the theory of the “great replacement”. He apologized again after a message comparing the Plante administration to Stalin.
6. Michel Bissonnet, the mafia, and Denis Coderre:
Michel Bissonnet is the candidate for mayor of the district of Saint-Léonard. A veteran of politics, he was a member of the National Assembly for 27 years. In 2008, he was elected mayor of the borough of Saint-Léonard.
In 2009, we learned that a $ 32 million contract had been awarded in 2005 by the borough to SOGEP, a subsidiary of the Dessau company. This 20-year contract was signed when Frank Zampino was mayor of Saint-Léonard. The latter was subsequently hired by Dessau, after leaving politics.
The mayor of Montreal at the time, Gérald Tremblay, had asked Michel Bissonnet and Claude Léger, the city’s director general, to investigate this transaction.
In 2008, Michel Bissonnet went to a party at Paolo Catania’s. At that time, the closeness of the entrepreneur to the Mafia was known. Mr. Bissonnet had arrived at the party in the company of Bernard Trépanier, Union Montreal’s treasurer and the one who would be nicknamed “Mr. 3%”. According to La Presse, relatives of the Mafia and organizers of the Montreal collusion system identified at the Charbonneau commission were also present.
Denis Coderre had, in 2013, reiterated his support for Mr. Bissonnet. “At the time, these people weren’t charged anyway,” he said.
In 2014, La Presse learned that Mr. Bissonnet had acted as counsel for Carmine Mercadante, a “management consultant” who handled the affairs of several members and associates of the Mafia. M e Mercadante took care of the funeral home of the Rizutto family, among other things. Mr Bissonnet denied any connection to such companies, saying he had “left his name there” in case he returned to private practice. “My name was on the letterhead, but I didn’t have an office there, I never got involved in the files,” he said during an interview.
7. Antoine Richard:
On October 13, the Journal de Montréal investigative office published an article highlighting the lucrative real estate “flips” made by Antoine Richard, candidate for mayor of Verdun for Ensemble Montréal. The investigation revealed that the real estate broker had bought two buildings to resell them quickly, touching a little more than $470,000 in the space of a few months. This practice is not illegal, but it is discouraged by the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ), which oversees the profession of real estate broker.
According to the investigation, Mr. Richard would have used prohibited procedures. He would have advertised the sale of a building two days before being the owner. He is also said to have appraised a property himself and then bought it cheaper for his clients.
Regarding the “flips” of his candidate, Mr. Coderre declared: “I had a very serious discussion with Antoine [Richard] and I am satisfied with the answers.”
8. Catherine Clement-Talbot
In 2016, Projet Montréal discovered that Ms. Clément-Talbot, advisor to Ensemble Montréal in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, had solicited donations from a promoter interested in a project in her borough. Ms. Clément-Talbot was a member of the town planning advisory committee responsible for evaluating these projects.
Coderre had decided not to sanction his chosen one. “We’re not going to start comparing that to the past when we talked about a hundred dollars. It’s awkward, but I don’t think we can buy it for $ 300, ” he argued at the time.
Other Facts About Denis Coder:
- Denis Coderre is a Canadian liberal politician from Quebec, Canada who has been administrator of Eurostar since 2018 and Special advisor for the FIA since 2019.
- Denis Coderre was born on July 25th, 1963.
- Denis Coderre was born in the Quebec municipality of Saint-Adolphe-de-Rodriguez, located about thirty kilometers from the city of Joliet.
- Denis Coder’s father, Elfezh Coder, was a carpenter by profession.
- Denis Coder’s mother, Lucy Baillargeon, was primarily a housewife but also worked as an assistant manager at a health food store.
- In 1973, Denis Coderre and his parents moved to the city of Montreal-Nord (since 2002 – the Montreal area), where the future politician graduated from high school in Henri-Bourassa and Marie-Victoran College.
- In terms of Denis Coder’s education, he earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Montreal and an MBA from the University of Ottawa.